Hyderabad: State Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Monday said that the state government is on high alert in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in neighbouring states. In a meeting with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Health Secretary Syed Ali Murtaza Rizvi, the health minister asked all hospitals to be ready with medical services if the cases increase, and also increase the number of RT-PCR tests in the state.

Telangana continues to witness a rise in the COVID-19 positive cases in March. The state reported 337 new COVID cases on Sunday taking the overall tally to 3,03,455. Though the number of cases on Sunday is less than Saturday when the state reported 394 cases, the number of tests has also drastically decreased from 64,898 on Saturday to 37,079 tests on Sunday.

The minister also asked officials concerned to make sure that there are enough PPE kits, N-95 masks, Remdesivir injections, and antiviral tablets for everyone. "No matter how many steps the government takes, restricting COVID-19 is only possible with the full participation of the public. Do not act negligently towards COVID-19 spread," said the minister.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area is reporting a spurt in COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, the GHMC reported 91 cases. On Saturday, the area reported 81 cases. The neighbouring Rangareddy district reported 37 new cases, Medchal-Malkajgiri reported 28 and Sangareddy 12 new cases.

Other districts of Telangana are also seeing a surge in cases. Nirmal on Sunday reported 18 new cases while Nizamabad reported 11 new cases and Karimnagar 10 cases. From January to the second week of March, these districts had reported cases in single digits.

One of the main reasons for the increase is the reopening of residential educational institutions. These institutes have become hotspots for COVID-19 cases in the state. Around 181 citizens recovered from the infection on Sunday taking the total recoveries to 2,98,826 in the state. The recovery rate, as per the government, now stands at 98.42 percent, which is approximately one percent higher than the national average of 95.7 percent.

So far 96,50,662 samples have been tested in the state. Samples tested per million population stand at 2,59,286. Reports of 698 samples are awaited.

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